Borthwick backs World Cup boost

Saracens lock says World Cup will bring in new talent to rugby union

Last Updated: 29/07/09 4:55pm

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Borthwick: World Cup boost

Borthwick: World Cup boost

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England captain Steve Borthwick believes the staging of the 2015 World Cup will bring a whole new batch of youngsters into rugby union.

"Without question it would be something great to aim for. There's a long way to go but if I'm in the right shape I'll push for it."
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Borthwick himself was spurred on to play the game as a ten-year-old when England staged the tournament in 1991.

The 29-year-old says he remembers England heartbreaking final defeat, as Will Carling's side were edged 12-6 by Australia at Twickenham.

The Saracens lock now says that with the country again staging the World Cup, it will help bring a new generation of players to the game.

"The opportunity to play in the World Cup is incredible because of the intensity and the excitement involved," Borthwick said.

Once in a lifetime

"To do that in your home country is once-in-a-lifetime stuff because the opportunity rarely, if ever, comes around.

"Hopefully it will inspire the next generation of English rugby players. As a kid I watched in 1991. I found it inspiring and I'm sure many players growing up at the same time did as well.

"I remember the disappointment of the final because we had done so well up until that point. It was then that I started dreaming of playing for England in the hope that I might one day appear at the World Cup."

The 2015 World Cup is a further addition to Britain's 'golden decade of sport', which also includes the 2012 Olympic Games, the 2013 Rugby League World Cup and 2014 Commonwealth Games.

And the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be added to the schedule if the Football Association succeed in their attempt to secure the competition.

Great news

"England getting the World Cup is super news. It's a fantastic thing for rugby in this country and for the guys who were involved in the bid because they worked hard," said Borthwick.

"It's an exciting time for sport generally in this country because all of the things like the Olympics and Rugby League World Cup which will also be happening.

"Hopefully the football will be here as well. The support England got in the last two World Cups was incredible. The excitement and enthusiasm people in this country have for the England rugby team is enormous."

Borthwick will be 34 by the time the 2015 World Cup arrives but refuses to rule out his involvement, drawing comfort from the age of fellow England second rows Ben Kay (33) and Simon Shaw (35).

"Simon Shaw and Ben Kay are both in their mid-thirties - I'm still a spring chicken compared to those guys! There are plenty of years left in me," he said.

"Without question it would be something great to aim for. There's a long way to go but if I'm in the right shape I'll push for it.

"But there's another World Cup before then. My main concern is this season with Saracens and England. I want to help England get back to where we belong in terms of world standing."

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